Crew of Clipper Race support to Ukraine

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Crew of Clipper Race send message of support to Ukraine


A team of sailors about to cross the North Pacific Ocean has shown their solidarity with the people of Ukraine as they departed for their 30 day intense race across one of the most inhospitable places on the planet.

Changing the normal combination of their sailing kit to match the bright yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag, the team also adapted their usual pre-departure chant to say ‘We support Ukraine’.

The Clipper 2019-20 Race restarted from the Philippines today with the eleven yachts, crewed by non-professional sailors, leaving for the crossing to Seattle. The Clipper Race edition has been on hold for two years due to the pandemic.

The Race Crew on board the Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam team dressed in their blue team jacket, paired with their yellow Musto waterproof foulies (heavy weather kit) for their team photo as an act of solidarity with those suffering in the conflict in Ukraine.

Before a Clipper Race Start, all teams have their team photo, and also perform a team chant. The Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, made up of mixed nationalities from around the world, weaved in a message to those suffering in Ukraine -chanting ‘Hatch open, Ha Long Bay! We support Ukraine today!”

Jacqui Webb is a Round the World crew member on Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, from Victoria, Australia and has returned to finish her circumnavigation after the two year postponement. She explains the crew’s decision to wear their heavy weather kit: “We wore our blue and yellow foulies on board for our team photo today because we realised that our uniform represented the same colours as the Ukrainian flag. It was a show of solidarity that we could do to help support them.”

The Clipper Race partners with Unicef UK, with Race Crew and sailing staff raising money for the children’s charity. With the Ukraine war threatening the lives of the country’s 7.5 million children, UNICEF is working with its partners to support vulnerable children and their families with essential services such as heath, education, protection, water and sanitation, as well as life-saving supplies.

The multi-nation Clipper Race Crew is made up of men and women from diverse walks of life, ranging from 18-70+ years old. Civil Servants from Oxfordshire race shoulder to shoulder with Gap Year students from the Netherlands, Farmers from Devon, and Teachers from New Zealand.

Whilst the teams are formed of non-professional sailors, mother nature serves up the same extreme conditions that those on the professional circuits experience. During the first half of the circumnavigation, teams faced a cocktail of contrasting conditions from the heat of the tropics to the freezing cold temperatures of the Southern Ocean, and frustrating wind holes to hurricane strength winds.

Now that the fleet has departed Subic Bay, the yachts will make their way to start line in North Luzon, for the start of Race 10- the Sailing City Qingdao Cup. The sailors’ next big challenge will be tackling the mighty North Pacific Ocean, which is known as ‘the big one’. The teams will be racing towards Seattle and expected to arrive in the US city in mid April 2022.

The fleet will then race down the West Coast of America to Panama, where it will transit the Panama Canal, sail through the Caribbean and up to first time Host Port Bermuda. After some much needed R&R, the eleven ocean racing yachts will head to New York, before racing across the North Atlantic to Derry~Londonderry for the city’s Maritime Festival running from 20 July 20 -24 July of which the Clipper Race fleet is the centrepiece. Then there’s one final sprint, with London’s Royal Docks hosting Race Finish.

The Clipper Race is the only event of its kind which trains people from all walks of life to become ocean racers. Participants sign up to compete in one or multiple legs, or the full eleven-month, 40,000nm circumnavigation. On this edition, a third of the Race Crew are female, including several circumnavigators. The Clipper Race was founded by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world, and the sailing event recently celebrated 25 years since its first edition in 1996.